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New Year brings minimum wage increase for Missouri workers

Some Missouri workers will start the new year off with a raise.

While some said the minimum wage in Missouri will be good for workers, business owners said they may have to raise prices.

The state minimum wage will increase from $7.85 to $8.60 an hour.

Hannibal Chamber of Commerce said it could raise prices at small businesses to keep pace with budgets.

But it could also impact the economy with people having more spending money in their pocket.

Big Muddy BBQ is opening a second location on Highway 61 and MM in the new year and the owner will need more hands on deck.

“Volume basically,” owner Todd Rourke said. “It’s not a secret, but Hannibal is a tourist town.”

Hannibal Area Chamber of Commerce officials said local businesses had success in Hannibal.

“It’s been a good year for business,” Executive Director McKenzie Disselhorst said. “A lot of our retail and manufacturers have seen growth and investment this year. It’s been a good year all across the board.”

Now owners need to start planning their budgets for a minimum wage increase.

Voters in Missouri approved ballot initiatives this fall, raising it from $7.85 to $8.60 after state legislators decided not to.

“I think we will see some businesses raise the price of their goods and services to keep pace with the minimum wage increase,” Disselhorst said. “I will also see more employers be creative on how they attract and retain their workforce.”

Rourke said he pays his employees well above the minimum at $11 an hour because it translates to good work.

“I would be nothing without these people,” Rourke said. “I couldn’t run a business without them. I want to make money and see them happy as well. It’s a symbiotic relationship for sure.”

Disselhorst believes the wage issue won’t go away anytime soon and more ideas need to be brought to the table to improve it.

“We will also see workforce development initiatives,” Disselhorst said. “We all need to come together and be at the table to solve the growing challenges of a steady workforce.”

The new restaurant location for Big Muddy BBQ is set to open early next month.

Disselhorst said owners can handle the increases for now, but are worried about what to do when it reaches 12 dollars an hour by 2023.

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Don Dwyer

Don Dwyer is a Morning Anchor/Reporter at WGEM.

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